Sunday, March 13, 2011

You look younger ....

A friend at work told me this week that I looked “10 years younger now that you aren’t caring for Vern“. The comment initially shocked me, and I started to respond in a negative way … but then I realized that she truly didn’t mean it to hurt. She knows how tough the past 4+ years were for me, and she was saying this because she was pleased to see me looking better, healing, moving forward. It was important that I just accept her compliment as it was intended and let it go.

Yes, I’m doing really well at work. I’m able to concentrate, to work hard, accomplish things, take on new projects, to talk and joke and laugh with co-workers. Hey - Dianne is back!

Well, THAT Dianne is back, the work Dianne … but the other Dianne - Vern’s wife, ummm, I guess I need to say widow - still has a ways to go.

I need to figure out who I am now, who I want to be, what I want to spend my time on - but I just don’t feel like putting a lot of effort into that just yet. I miss Vern and the life we had before cancer. And I even miss the life we had with cancer. I still need to wrap myself up in those memories awhile before I’m ready to try moving on to the next chapter.

This morning’s walk was the only time I got out this weekend. Shame on me for not enjoying the beautiful weather we had here. I feel good during the work week and that’s the only progress I need right now. The other things will come when I’m ready. I’ll say ‘yes’ to some things and ‘no’ to others and just let things happen as they feel right.
  • I did the Pancreatic Cancer 5K Walk this morning and it felt good. I so enjoyed seeing my special friend all dolled up in her snazzy purple wig. What a beautiful soul she is.
  • I’m doing the Cirque du Soleil 5K Walk at the Springs Preserve next Saturday. Should get some fun pictures at that.
  • I’ve signed up for Camp Widow in San Diego this August. I debated about it for quite awhile, worrying that it’s going to be too much of a social event for me … that I’m too old to fit in with the other widows attending. But when chatting with a friend about it he just kept saying, “Dianne, you need to do it” to every negative thing I threw out there. And he reminded me that if the social part of the weekend doesn’t feel right, I don’t need to participate in that. Besides, I always have the option to just enjoy the beautiful city of San Diego. So I’ve registered, purchased my plane ticket and booked my hotel room.
How easy it is for those of us grieving to look like everything is just fine on the outside, while keeping our true selves hidden away. It’s like I’m two different people - but I really do think that’s ok for right now. This feels like the right way for me to do this so I’ll just keep plugging along. There’s always next week.


Barbara said...

Dianne.. I think you are doing the right thing.. going at your own pace. I totally get the Work You vs. the home you.. I feel the same way. People at work want everything to be normal again. I am so glad you are going to camp widow.. I am thinking about it.. I have so much work travel coming up.. I am trying to figure out whether it would work, but I think you are so active on the WV site, that you are going to just love it.. hang in there.. the cancer journey does suck the life out of us, and now is our time to renew ourselves.. hugs to you

Boo said...

I am so happy you are coming to Camp Widow :-)

Susie Hemingway said...

Oh how I understand your "two different people sentance".

The face you put on for work or when meeting friends, the smile that manages to come from somewhere when inside your heart is breaking.
I have always been a smiler and why not, I had a wonderful life with a fabulous man and much to smile about, now the ready smile does not reach my eyes.

I went to visit an elderly friend recently, a wise and wonderful old lady. We have been friends for years and years. I did not wish to bring her more sadness or upset her more than she already is. She loved Hamada very much also, so I was careful with my grief. She wrote me a lovely letter after in her aged spidery writing, saying that she could see my pain through my eyes although my smile was just as it always was. How wise and clever she is. She did not say much but she listened and knew just what my grief was all about.

I cannot however continue to show my grief to my family and close friends - it still catches me out when I am alone - but I am so sad for our sons - especially Jo who is so much the younger -and also the family and know that Hamada would be wishing me to make it through, to be strong now, as I have always been throughout Hamada's illness. I know that Vern would be so incredibly proud of you and the fabulous way you are coping and you are you know.

I also get a little bit cross with folk(but pass no comment) when they say how well I look now - do they not have any idea of the energy it took to be a 24hr carer and to do the job properly and with all of your soul. It is no wonder we look younger and more rested now. I watched myself aging in the mirror during the time of endless sleepless nights and journeys back and forth to Hospital but I would do it all agin to have him back with me.
Be strong at this six month anniversary and bathe yourself in the thought that Vern loved you very much and would not wish you too much more sadness. He will be so very proud of you. Sorry I seem to have rambled here. Hugs as always X

Wendy said...

It's so hard to figure out who "you" are without your husband. I'm struggling with that still, and we didn't have nearly the years together that you did. One day at a time, we'll figure it out.